Pacorus delivers for Waikato

Pacorus (Viktoria Gatu) completing a hat trick of wins at New Plymouth yesterday.

Pacorus (Viktoria Gatu) completing a hat trick of wins at New Plymouth yesterday when beating Meritaggio.

Cambridge trainer Chris Wood watched proudly as the Waikato colours were carried to victory by his runner Pacorus in the ITM New Plymouth Building Supplies Interprovincial 1600 at New Plymouth yesterday.

It was the first time the Waikato colours had been successful in the event since its introduction in 1995 when Profit Taker led the field home.

Wood, a Waikato local since his birth, as proud to have his runner wear the red, yellow and black colours and Pacorus did it in style, kicking clear early in the run home and holding out a late charge from another runner from the Cambridge area, the Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie-trained Meritaggio, who was sporting the Bay Of Plenty colours.

In fact, it was a clean sweep for Cambridge horses and the Waikato and surrounding districts’ colours with the Graham Thomas and Nick Smith-trained Mangaroa Flo Jo running on well for third in the Thames Valley colours.

Pacorus completed a hat trick of wins plus a double on the day for Wood and his stable apprentice Viktoria Gatu after Wooden Edge extended his unbeaten record to three in the first event when winning in impressive fashion. Both Pacorus and Wooden Edge had also been successful on the same day at Te Rapa last month.

Pacorus’ two lead-up runs to the $50,000 New Plymouth feature were over 2100 metres, at Tauranga and Te Rapa, and Wood had pre-race concerns over the drop back in distance for the five-year-old son of Tavistock.

“I did think it may have been a little short for him so I wasn’t that confident,” said Wood.

“I told Viktoria to try and get him handy early without putting too much pressure on him and then try to slide to the front at the half mile (800m). I knew if he was in front he would be hard to run down and that’s how it proved.

“It may not have looked like that good a ride but it was exactly what I asked and she did it superbly so full credit to her.”

Gatu had Pacorus in fifth spot on settling and, as instructed, she let him slide forward across the top to be in a challenging position nearing the home turn. It was then obvious he was the horse to beat as he took over without being pressured.

Pacorus has now won five of his 19 starts and been placed on a further nine occasions. All of the wins have come this year with his maiden victory being over 2000 metres at Matamata last January after a string of placings.

Wood will now lift his sights with Pacorus and believes the 3200-metre $225,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Riccarton on November 12 could be an ideal target.

“His breeding suggests he has the credentials to get up to two miles as he is by Tavistock out of a Zabeel mare,” said Wood.

“The task now will be to work out how to get him to the New Zealand Cup. That is the race I have earmarked for him as long as he keeps making the progress he has over the past few months.”